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Tool or Technique?

October 19 2010

photographer200 pxBack in the late 1980s, I was first using a computer for editorial design work. I kept hearing how the Apple Macintosh was the best computer for graphic design. “No tool can stand up to the Mac” people would yabber on and on about it. I used them, I owned one as well (LCII). I was a PC girl and always had been (since 1980). I often argued for the PC tools, that it was more about the technique than the tools.

I think I sometimes take a contrary position just because I like to defend an underdog, but when it came to the Mac vs PC debate I truly believed it was about the technique and the person operating the machine more than it was about the tools.

When I was in art school no one really said which oil or acrylic paint was better, it was the technique. Or which pencils I preferred when drawing, 2B, HB, 4B or which? Whether I liked natural or pressed charcoal when I drew. Did I prefer Arches or newsprint? It applies in all aspects of life, for a chef, for a jockey, or a news cameraman, everyone has a tool they prefer but in the end it is the technique or the talent that truly defines the quality of the product.

In technology it has always been the case, the great “Intel vs. AMD” debate, Windows vs MacOS, and so on. Again the point is not so much the tool but how you use it. It hits every aspect of life.

And online it happens too… People talk about what they use to “surf the web” – which browser is better, which Twitter application is superior, which blog platform is preferred. I honestly think people are missing the point. Stop worrying about which tool is the best and start working on your technique.

Does it really matter what you use if you are doing it well? What do you think?  Leave a comment below!